This Calendar Savings & Datebook Efficiency Page contains a growing list of money saving tips from our readers to help you find free or inexpensive annual calendars!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
One Dollar Calendars
Calendar prices are outrageous! I know that I can get them for free from various businesses, but these aren’t the kind of calendars I can give as gifts. The other day, I was at Michaels Craft Store and found a wide variety of very nice calendars for this year for just one dollar each. This was their regular price -and they carry these every year. I even found a calendar that is set up so that when the month is done, you tear off the photo and it becomes a postcard – what a great reminder to send someone a note. Kaeli Evans – Rose Hill, KS
Calendar Cost Cutting
I receive several free calendars each year from various organizations I am affiliated with. If I ever need to buy a calendar, I’ll go to the dollar store and buy one for $1 rather than paying full price at a regular retail store. Evelyn H. – Colorado Springs, CO
Digital Calendar Savings Idea
Instead of a calendar on paper, I keep mine as electronic. I also have a notepad app on my phone that organizes all my lists including grocery, daily to do, etc.
Ashley Recio Langston – Falls Church, VA
Calendar Savings Cover-Up
A couple of years ago I bought myself a calendar on the markdown table in January. It was a very nice large, colorful calendar with pockets for each month. I used the pockets to store reminders of upcoming events, schedules and cards I had chosen for someone’s special day. It was so useful!
When the year was over, my calendar was still in good shape. I wanted to get a new one, but couldn’t bring myself to pay $14.95! A “free” calendar from a local business was available and I could have covered up the old monthly pages, but it didn’t fit. I did find that a sheet of regular copy paper, turned “landscape,” covered the old month’s grid.
So, going to my computer’s home publishing program, I printed out pages for this year. I just glued the new pages over the old ones and had a new calendar and kept the pockets that I found so useful! It was cheap and didn’t take very long at all. My old pocket calendar is still in good shape after 2 years it may be getting another round of pages! Michelle Gourley – Jefferson City, TN
Calendar Savings for Hobbies
Last Christmas, I made a calendar for my husband. I printed out the grid with numbers on my computer and downloaded pictures of experimental aircraft from the nasa.gov site. I put the pictures and calendar pages in plastic sleeves made for protecting documents and tied the sleeves together with yarn. We put a pincher-style paper clip on the top (using a veggie-rubber-band to provide friction), and hang the calendar in the kitchen. We can write on it with overhead projector markers, and erase our markings. Amy Davis — Omaha, NE
Grocery Store Calendars for Free
Grocery store calendars are coming out at the end of the year and are usually given away for free at the pharmacy. Loraine Perkins — Mesa, AZ
No Cover, No Cost Calendars
Last year after the holidays my mom and I hit the stores to stock up for next year. We came across one of those calendar stores that temporarily exist in the malls. They had a tiny sign on the door “free calendars”, so we checked it out. Everything that was left over they were giving away minus the front cover. We got calendars for everyone we know in a variety of themes – dogs & cats for my son, lighthouses for me, moose for my mom, Star Wars & James Bond for my hubbie, and all sorts of nature themes for my daughter and other friends. It was a great deal, I will never “pay” for a calendar again! Lynn MacDonald — Avondale, AZ
Home & Horse Calendars
I joined Lowe’s Home Improvement garden club and have received a free calendar from them every year. There are no charges to sign up. I have noticed that they have the calendars in the store at the checkouts during a certain part of the year — I can’t remember when. These are also free for anyone who wants one. They are very pretty calendars and have helpful information on them.
I also order horse supplies from a company called Valley Vet Supply and they send me a beautiful calendar every year that has some very nice horse pictures on it. Debra Rogers— Forney, TX
Calendar Savings from a Thrift Store?
Savers and Value Village Thrift Stores They have over 220 locations in the US, Canada, and Australia. Each year they publish a calendar that they sell for 99 cents. In the back of the calendar, you’ll find coupons, one for each month. Some are for 50 percent off of any item up to $20, or $5 off a $20 purchase or Buy 1 Get 1. Go to www.savers.com to find the location nearest you or call 425-462-1515.
Using Datebooks Can Keep You on Track
Where do you keep notes, appointments, phone numbers, project lists and other important things that you don’t want to forget? Is it on a little piece of paper, many little pieces of paper, the back of an old envelope, the back of your hand? Think this isn’t an important economizing issue?
Okay, when was the last time you spent half an hour or more, looking for a list of errands or a shopping list you wrote on that little scrap piece of paper that was next to the phone? We’re talking about using a system that will save time and if used correctly, money too.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a calendar, a single notepad, your phone (iPhone or Android) or a paper notebook organizer (such as a Day-Timer), the key is finding a system that works for you and using it faithfully.
Here’s how we use our Calendars:
Kids’ Schedules We both write down the kids’ activities for the week. With five of them running in different directions, we don’t dare leave anything to our already overloaded brains. During especially hectic periods, we actually assign responsibility for particular taxi duties or errands. We don’t want to drop any of the balls we juggle—especially when they involve the kids.
Steve’s Schedule When Steve is working on several projects, he’s like any man, totally engrossed in what he’s doing—life beyond the here and now just doesn’t exist. Consulting his schedule numerous times during the day reminds him of where he’s supposed to be or what needs to be done. He even sets reminders in his Google Calendar that alert him on his phone to buy things, clean the pool, or leave for an appointment.
Annette’s Schedule Before Steve started recording Annette’s schedule in his date book, he would call home expecting her to be there. He would be frustrated and she would feel devalued. Having it written down makes it appear as if he can actually remember it.
Errands Because we try to minimize the “tyranny of the urgent,” we don’t just jump in the car to run one errand, but save them up for several days and do the “circle tour,” attempting to make the most efficient route possible. When we’re making half a dozen stops—some of them for the kids, some for Annette and some for Steve, it’s easy to forget where to go next. Just flip open the date book and there it is!
Conversation Records Steve also writes down important voice mails and conversations. Even just a couple of key words serve to spark his memory.
Many times, in the research phase of a project, he’s written down prices given to him during a phone conversation or a meeting and later found that the company didn’t keep a record and wanted to charge him more. In those cases, he pulls out his date book, opens to the page where he recorded the conversation notes and shows them the price. They never argue.
For Guys Only
If you want to impress your wife or girlfriend, this is a killer idea. Steve’s date book contains a gift section. Whenever Annette drops a hint about something she wants, he writes it on her page in this section – a couple of years ago he switched to keeping gift lists in Evernote (the free app version). He knows that he’ll never remember it unless he writes it down. So when he’s out running errands and stumbles across a deal on something on the list, he buys it and puts it away for Christmas or her birthday or just to surprise her. The coolest thing is watching her open the present and hearing her say, “How did you know I wanted this?”
Don’t leave home without it Steve has combined his wallet and his date book for a couple of reasons. First, he was having back problems and someone mentioned that sitting on your wallet all day can cause your back to ache. Secondly, because his driver’s license, check book and cash are in it, he has to remember to take it wherever he goes.
It’s a system that really does save . . . ummm, well, we had a really catchy ending to go in here, but for the life of us we can’t remember, and unfortunately, neither one of us wrote it down! Aargh!
For more money saving tips, please see the directory for our awesome Money Saving Tips Pages.
If you have a tip related to saving money when buying calendars, please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.